American Intercontinental University
February 1, 2015
The theory of behaviorism is that human and animal behavior can be explained in terms of conditioning without any preconceived thought, but it can be defined by observable behavior that is researched. Behaviorism projects that individuals are products of their experiences and have become who they are because of conditioning. John Watson, who is credited with Behaviorism, made the comment that he could take “twelve healthy infants and take any one of them and mold them into any given occupation regardless of genetics, race, talents and/or abilities.”(Jenson, 2014) Watson felt that conditioning was a crucial part of behaviorism, as it was an extension of Pavlov’s discovery and his studies of stimulus-response reflexive relationships. In this paper the founding of behaviorism, the main components of the behaviorism theory, a brief description of 3 behaviorist experiments, and how behaviorism develops new behaviors will be discussed.
Behaviorism and its effect on the learning process
The founder of behaviorism is credited to John B. Watson. According to Watson, behavior was a subject matter in its own right, to be studied by the observational methods common to all sciences. This field of study and learning was founded in 1912, and it was formed as a reaction to the current focus on psychology at the time. In order to form this theory, John Watson studied the research of Ivan Pavlov. Watson felt that
“psychology must have an empirical, objective subject matter and that the events to be investigated as possible causes of behavior must also be described objectively and verified empirically through experimental research (Jensen, 2014).”
This latter point meant that introspection would have to be abandoned, for it was unscientific. Watson presented the goals of psychology as the prediction and control of behavior rather than
References: Behaviorism Theory Overview. (2011, January 1). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from http://www.lifecircles-inc.com/Learningtheories/behaviorism/behaviorism.html Colwill, R. M. (2014). Skinner box. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health, Harris, B. (2010). John Broadus Watson. American National Biography (From Oxford University Press), Jensen, R. (2014). Behaviorism. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health, Kretchmar, J. (2008). Behaviorism (education). Research Starters Education (Online Edition), Lisa M. Baumgartner, Ming Yeh Lee, Sosan Birden, Doris Flower. (2003). Adult Learning Theory: A Primer. Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education. The Ohio University. Mazur, J (1994). Learning and behavior (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Moore, J. (2011). BEHAVIORISM. Psychological Record, 61(3), 449-465.